German Mail Order Catalogs: 1965

Figure 1.--Youg pre-school boys in 1965 might wear romper suits. Girls' sunsuits almost always had skirts. Notice how the boys' bib-front romper is coordinated with the girl's blue frock. It could be worn by brother and sister.

German mail order catalogs offer a very useful time line on changing fashion trends. German mail order catalogs in 1965 show a number of trends. Younger boys might wear rompers and sunsuits. Peter Pan collars were popular. Older boys wore an interesting combination of traditional blazers, Mao jackets, and folk jackets. Pants often were made in short and long pants versions of the same styles. Some had supender or halter attachments. Boys no longer, however, universally wear short pants as dress wear. Even todler boys fashions are available in long and short pants. Shorts were increasingly becoming casual summer wear. Unfortunately as HBC does not have German language capability, we can not report on the details of the garments as described in German in the catalog.

Toddler Clothes

German catalogs often express sizes in terms of the child's neight. The most common sizes are 92 cm (2 years), 98 cm (3 years), and 104 cm (4 years).

Baby togs

This page has a variety of baby togs as well as what look like robes or beach ribes for toddlers.

Sweater and shirt sets

The fashions pictured here are long-sleeved sweater and short sleeved shirt sets with long and short pants. The shorts for the todler boys are quite short and banded at the hem. One pair of shorts is suspender shorts. The sizes would are 80-104 centimters, meaning 2-4 years. This refers to the height of the child. Some of the styles such as the suspender shorts set were no made in the larger sizes.

Variety of fashions

This page includes a variety of fahions. There is a long pants suit with an Eton lapeless jacket, a shorts romperoutfit with a coordinated dress for a sister, bibfront overalls, and a nautical motif shorts set. The sizes would are 80-104 centimters, meaning 2-4 years.

Boy and girl outfits

This page had a wide variety of boys and girls outfits. Sone of the oufits are quite novel, a refreshing change from the rather ordinary outfits commonly offered for boys. One outfit has a Russian style bluse with shorts. Another has a sailor top with romper-style elasticized pants. There is also a brother sister outfit with smock-like top and romper pants, blue for the boy and pink for the girl. The only difference besides the color is that the boy has long sleeves and the girl short sleeves. Another outfit is a kind of romper sunsuit with bibfront worn with an optional smock-like top.

Sun suits

This page has prinarily girls outfits, but there are two romper suits with ilasticized legs for boys. One of the boys romper suits, the one seen on this page, has a coordinated girls outfit for brother sister combination.

Brother-sister suit

This page has girls sunsuits and a dressy brother sister outfit. The suit has an identical stripped jacket worn with a blue skirt for sister or short pants for brother.


German boys wore a variety of different coats for the winter. Casual styles were increasing popular.

Coats and pants

Otto-versandhaus put a variety of garments on this page. It is primarily devoted to coats and long pants for winter wear. Strangely girls' hot pants are also included. There is one multi-colored girls' coat and two boys' coats. There are also long pantsm both regular and bib-front.

Suits and Sports Jackets

Boys wore rather English looking blazers complete with fake badges. There were also tweed coats without lapels that might be worn with lederhosen.

Boys' suits

Otto-versandhaus adverised a variety long pants boys suits in different styles and for a range of ages. One blue suit can be worn as a regular suit or with jacket that has a sailor collar rather than lapels.

Blazer and folk jacket

Otto-versandhaus adverised blazers and jackets. The blazer pictured is blue with a fake badge. Along with it a more German kooling jacket. It is lapeless like an Eton jacket, but the buttons very high and could be worn with lederhosen. A variety of pants are pictured on the same page.

Mao jackets

Otto-versandhaus offered boys Mao jackets which were all the rage. They buttoned at the collar. They are on the same page as a variety of short and long pants. A HBC reader comments, "You refer to the jackets as Mao style jackets. I have been told that these are German folk style jackets and predate Mao's wearing of them." HBC could be wrong about this, but the jackets do look rather like Mao Jackets. Notice the pockets and collar, they look different to me than the folk jackets to which the reader refers.

Girls coats

Otto-versandhaus Otto Versand House) adverised a variety of girls jackets on this pages, inclcluding blazer and suit outfits. There is also a brther-sister blazer option. It has identical blazers worn with a white skirt for the girl and white short pants for the boy. The blazers have fake badges and are shown worn with turtle-neck shirts.

Little boys' blazer

We note one advertizement for a younger boy's blazer with traditional styling. we are not surejust when blazers became popular in Germany. They were not commonly worn before World War II.


German boys wore a wide variety of sweaters.

Otto Versand House sweaters

This Otto Versand page offers boys' and gir's sweaters in various styles and and a boys' double-breasted jacket with no lapels.

Casual Clothes

German catalogs in the 1960s show the increasing popularity of casual clothes.

Various casual outfits

Otto-versandhaus adverised a variety of casual clothes for boys. There are khaki and blue safari short pants outfits. A blue striped shorts outfit for a younger boy and a romper suit for a todler. There is also a long pants Western outfit.


Boys in the 1960s wore both short and long pants. Both were made in play and formal styles. In some cases the same style and colors were offered in both long and short pants versions.

Various fashions

Otto-versandhaus (Otto Versand House) adverised a variety of short and long pants. In some cases the same style and colors were offered in both long and short pants versions. One pair of long pants has suspender attachments. A blazer and folk jacket are pictured on the same page.

Various pants

Otto-versandhaus (Otto Versand House) offered a variety of short and long pants. Many were suspender and even bib-front styles. Some of the shorts had traditional styling. One pair of longs had an early version of cargo pants. Mao jackets are pictured on the same page.

Folk Outfits

German clothing catalogs in the 1960s always at leasr a few pages devoted to folk-styled outfits.

Folk dresses

This page mnostkly has girls folk dresses. Interestingly, the drawings always have girls with German-style pony tails and other folk hair styles, but they are less commonly seen in actual photographs. Also blond children are pictured in the drawings out of proportion to the hair colors in general population. For some reason a younger boys' lederhosen outfit is also pictured here.


Catalogs offered both ankle and kneespcks for boys as well as tights. We do not note long stockings being offered any more.

Petrol hosiery

The Petrol 1965 summer cataloge offered a wide range of hosiery (Strümpfe und Socken) for children. The image is not clear enough to read the ad copy, but we notice notice ankle socks in different colors and patterns. There are dark colored kneesocks. Tights are available in red, white, black, grey, and blue. A boy is shown modeling the blue tights. The brand or material is Helanca, a sunthetic fiber.


We notice a wide variety of footwear worn by German boys.

Otto Versand footwear

Otoo Versand in 1965 offered a range of children's clothes. There are shoes for both boys and girls. There were two-toned shoes for boys, but none in the classic saddle style. I think saddle shoes were mostly an American style .


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Created: April 11, 2000
Last updated: March 22, 2004